Before we get into the tutorial, I will explain why I need to generate bulk Dropbox links. In this example, I am currently preparing an ArcGIS Project with a rock sample location layer in the project. This layer will have a pretty cool popup. Whenever the user clicks the sample location, it will display a popup with a photo of the rock sample. And the URL of the rock photos is saved in Dropbox. By doing this, we can share the layer with anyone and they will still be able to open the URL because it is available on the internet.
The problem is that there are hundreds of photos. It is almost impossible to enter the URL for each rock sample manually. I need some automated way to copy the Dropbox link or URL into my rock database. I am not a Python user so I will skip Python and Dropbox API. If you are in a similar situation, I think you can use my workaround below to generate bulk Dropbox links. We will utilize Microsoft Excel and a little code in Excel.
Step 1. Get the link for each file from Dropbox
First, we need to copy the link for the folder containing all the files/photos we want to copy.
Once we have copied the shared link, now open an Incognito browser. The idea was to open this link in a browser without a Dropbox login. If you are logged in, you will be having difficulties selecting all and copying the file name. Select all the files that we want to copy. See the example below.
Open Excel and then paste it into Excel. Please note that this will copy the file name as well as the image into Microsoft Excel. If you copy many files, it will take time to paste. See the example below. This is what it looks like after we paste the copied files from Dropbox into Excel.
Select and Deleted Images from Excel
What we need to do next, is to select all the images and then deleted them. Go to Home | Find & Select | Go To Special. Choose Objects and then press OK. This will select all the images in the spreadsheet.
Now you can delete all the images. Now we have the list of the files with hyperlinks on each file.
Extract the Hyperlinks
This is the fun part because now we want to extract the hyperlinks from the copied files. This method is really helpful when you need to generate hyperlinks from hundreds of files. We will create a new module in Microsoft Excel. This module will automatically detect any hyperlinks in the spreadsheet and extract them to a new column.
Copy the following script into the new module. I will show you how to do this in a moment.
Sub ExtractHL() Dim HL As Hyperlink For Each HL In ActiveSheet.Hyperlinks HL.Range.Offset(0, 1).Value = HL.Address Next End Sub
How to create a new Module in Microsoft Excel
That’s it. Now I can use the hyperlinks to generate the picture preview in ArcGIS Pro. I will show you how to do this next time. Thanks for reading this article and see you next.